* BofA, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan up as profit tops estimates
* Financials expected to boost S&P 500 Q4 profit growth
* Consumer stocks drop as Dec. retail sales fall short
* Facebook jumps on upgrade, pushes Nasdaq to record
* Dow down 0.05 pct, S&P up 0.20 pct, Nasdaq up 0.54 pct
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
Jan 13 The S&P 500 and Nasdaq trimmed early
gains, but remained higher in early afternoon trading on Friday
after strong earnings from large U.S. lenders that bode well for
the rest of the earnings season.
The Dow was little changed, held back by a drop in consumer
stocks after a report showed U.S. retail sales and core retail
sales increased less than expected in December.
Trading volumes were light ahead of a three-day weekend.
Bank of America, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo
all reported quarterly profits that beat analysts' expectations
and expressed optimism about 2017 in their first public comments
about earnings since the U.S. presidential election.
Bank of America jumped as much as 2.1 percent to $23.41,
their highest since the financial crisis. JPMorgan surged 2.2
percent at a record high of $88.17 and Wells Fargo gained 3.1
percent to $56.20.
Goldman Sachs hit a more than nine-year high, while
Morgan Stanley touched a more than eight-year high.
Five of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the
financial index's 0.45 percent rise leading the
advancers. The KBW Bank index was up 0.60 percent.
The combined profit of S&P 500 companies is estimated to
have risen 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter, largely helped by
financial companies, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Financials have had a very good run post election and the
data we've gotten today from the big banks has been very good
and we do expect this sector to post strong earnings mostly due
to the rising interest rate environment," said Jon Adams, senior
investment strategist at BMO Global Asset Management.
At 12:42 p.m. ET (1742 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average
was down 9.15 points, or 0.05 percent, at 19,881.85.
The S&P 500 was up 4.55 points, or 0.20 percent, at
The Nasdaq Composite was up 29.85 points, or 0.54
percent, at 5,577.34. It had hit a record high earlier in the
The biggest boost was from Facebook, which jumped 1.6
percent to $128.65 after Raymond James upgraded the stock.
U.S. stocks overall have been on the rise since the election
on optimism that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's policies
will benefit the economy. The S&P financial sector has jumped
about 17 percent since the election, outpacing the S&P 500's 6.1
But, analysts fear the market has run too far too soon, with
Trump's policies expected to hit legislature hurdles, and with
stock valuations stretched.
"There is a lot of optimism baked in 2017 as far as earnings
go and we've come a long way very quickly so there's scope for a
pullback, but overall the outlook for 2017 is relatively
positive," said Adams.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,780
to 1,039. On the Nasdaq, 2,017 issues rose and 784 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 29 new 52-week highs and three new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 109 new highs and seven new
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D'Souza)